Wynnstay on track to return to growth in current FY

Agricultural and retail group Wynnstay remains encouraged it is on track to return to growth in the current FY, but warned of subdued trading at Just for Pets within a generally positive AGM statement.

"The trading environment for farmers has continued to show signs of recovery, with farm output prices higher year-on-year, although from low comparatives," the company said in a statement for its AGM.

"This is encouraging although, as yet, it is too early to determine the strength of the recovery. There are important seasonal trading months ahead for Wynnstay, particularly for feed sales and these will influence the outcome for the half year."

Wynnstay said in its Agricultural division demand for ruminant feed had increased year-on-year, reflecting national trends.

Fertiliser sales had been good as farmers purchased ahead of anticipated price increases.

"Demand for spring seed is also encouraging and, as expected, the smaller 2016 harvest has meant that grain trading volumes in the period are behind the previous year," the company added in the statement.

"Within the Specialist Retail operations, our agricultural retail activities have seen a small increase in like-for-like sales over recent months, mainly attributable to hardware products. "

Wynnstay, however, noted that demand at Just for Pets, the pet products business, remained subdued, reflecting the challenging high street.

"We are continuing to invest in the business, including in our technology platform, to drive efficiencies and better position the Group for long term growth."